Vinya Wine & Market
Key Biscayne's Vinya is the kind of neighborhood wine bar that'll instantly make you open Zillow to see if there are any available properties within a one-mile radius of this place. The market/wine bar/restaurant is a versatile spot that works equally well for post-work drinks as it does for a lowkey birthday dinner with a few friends and lots of wine.
They have bar seating in the center of the market as well as outdoor benches great for slightly bigger groups, and none of it is too formal for flip-flops still sandy from the beach. The wine selection is, obviously, great—and they also have excellent cocktails. But the food here is so much better than your average wine bar charcuterie. There are small plates, salads (including a gorgeous niçoise), and bigger entrees, like a smoked short rib with carbonara fries and lobster thermidor sitting in a delicious gruyère sauce you get to mop up with slices of toasted brioche. Their manchego croquetas also stand out even in a city oversaturated with croquetas.
Vinya is a lovely experience whether you're trying to sit at the bar with a glass of wine and bacon-wrapped dates or have a proper sit-down dinner. And luckily the alcohol options are plentiful, because when you do pull up Zillow, you're going to need a drink.
These croquetas are dressed up with a tiny shard of crispy prosciutto, truffle caviar, and just a touch of smoked paprika aioli. None of that hurts, but these croquetas would be incredible all on their own. They have a perfectly crispy outer shell and a creamy interior with an ideal amount of manchego.
A proper niçoise salad is a thing of beauty, both aesthetically and for your taste buds. This version has all the textures and flavors that make the niçoise one of the all-time salad greats: crunchy green beans, tender baby potatoes, boiled eggs, and slices of tuna cooked to a perfect medium rare.
Lobster Thermidor Fondue
These chunks of tender lobster taste great. But what puts this dish in the "fondue" category is the cheesy gruyère-based sauce that smothers the entire dish. You get to wipe that delicious sauce up with triangular slices of toasted brioche. Ask nicely for more bread, because you will need it to soak up every last molecule of this sauce.